Each morning has its own flavor. Today I taste sadness.
I learned just yesterday that a friend was killed in December. Hit and run in his neighborhood while walking his dog. The dog, a Corgi, died as well. No one saw the accident. The dog was dead and Thomas was rushed to the hospital where he passed away shortly after arrival.
Thomas represented some sort of late success story. Ex-Navy from the Vietnam era, he'd bounced around the country, a refreshingly unique who started working for me in his early fifties. Sometimes he drove an old pick up truck but more often he throttled around the Bay area in black leathers on a Harley. He was subletting a room then and essentially led a solitary life that centered around Renaissance and Civil War re-enactments and fairs. An inheritance freed him some. A woman was met. He was big and she was tiny. They married and bought a small home. He took in rescues. Cats, dogs and chickens were added to his life. He and his wife began gardening.
As headcount reductions loomed in 2008, Thomas worried about losing his job. He was too young to collect social security and too old, with limited qualifications and experience, to find another job. He was let go in 2009.
But it was okay, he told me. It wasn't as bad as he expected. He and his wife bought some property up by Clear Lake. He wanted to build an earthen home and live off the grid and was working in that direction. He was upbeat and hopeful as ever.
His birthday passed. We hadn't corresponded in a few months. I checked his Facebook to see what he was up to and discovered the news.
Thomas was gone. With him went a little hope, fun and optimism. He'll never be replaced.
I'm glad I knew him and he called me his friend.
Thomas Willey 1948 - 2012
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com